Mar 012018

You might have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. We’re working on a super top secret internal project here at my company, and we’ve got the need to ingest a LOT of data around the clock for some analytics work. My preferred DBMS is, of course, Microsoft SQL Server, and like a lot of DBAs, we want to make this swiss army knife of a relational DB platform do everything we can dream up. Thankfully, it can perform most of the tasks we throw at it pretty well. But, the pragmatist in me asks – “Is this the best tool for the job?”. Because we’re just starting this project, we can step back a bit and look at all of our options.

For our project, we do not want to deal with a datacenter of our own. Yes, we’re known as on-prem virtualization enthusiasts, and there in certainly many reasons for keeping things on-prem for some time to come, but cloud is the right choice for us for this project. We’re working on the cloud platforms just as much as we are on-prem these days, and we’re seeing the shift occurring in the industry.

Take a look at the costs of SQL Server licensing in the cloud. To design a SQL Server that can consume upwards of a few million data points a minute, we’re likely to need to spend quite a bit of capital on this platform. It’s just overkill for a straightforward ingestion then export platform. Then, we need to accommodate high availability, disaster recovery, reporting, and analytics needs.


Cloud brings some differences that might be advantageous here. We’re partial to MS Azure as a cloud platform for our company internally, so what does Azure have that can help us?

Azure Cosmos DB.

Now, it’s not as simple as that. Cosmos DB is a collection of APIs for different database types under the hood.

Each one are used differently, and all of the options include many differences in operation and architecture. Of the five listed platform APIs, which should we use? That’s a good question. For this particular project, we want the ability to store tons of inbound data and then will be pulling it out for analysis. Azure Table API seems to work best for this purpose.

SO! Over the next few months, expect a number of blog posts from me here exploring Azure Table on Cosmos DB and the questions, challenges, and experiences we have on ramping up on this new platform.

Jan 042017

Heraflux is proud to announce that I am¬†teaching a preconference training session at this year’s upcoming SQL Saturday in Chicago. The training class is entitled “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Infrastructure and Cloud” and is to be held on Friday, March 10th, at the DeVry University Campus in Addison, IL. This course has been updated to include key concepts about SQL Server in the cloud, including the similarities, differences, and performance characteristics.

Session Details: Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert David Klee leads this full-day introduction to getting the most out of the infrastructure underneath your SQL Server environment, whether on-premises or in the cloud. The focus of the course is to help those new to the enterprise server infrastructure concepts become familiar with function and purpose of each layer of the architecture around their databases, and how this knowledge can benefit them as data professionals. Participants will gain exposure to all layers of infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud underneath SQL Server, from storage all the way through to the SQL Server instance and database, and will learn how to review and engineer the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance.

Registration is now open here, and seats are limited! Register today!

Jun 262013

What an interesting week this has been. On Monday Microsoft and Oracle announced a partnership that rocked the cloud world. Oracle will certify its software to run fully-supported on Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V and within Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. Click here for more info. This list of software includes the Oracle Database, Weblogic, and Java. Oracle Linux will be used as the supported operating system, and will be available in Azure as preconfigured instances. The formal announcement from Oracle is located here.

Interesting. I cannot say I saw this one coming. Now for my $0.02 and various ramblings.

I think this announcement is a good thing.

First, this gives solid backing and demonstrates maturity to Microsoft’s Hyper-V and Azure offerings. I am already excited about Hyper-V and Azure, and now I can’t wait to get my hands on a trial on Azure.

I think Oracle had to do this. You could already run Oracle on Amazon AWS. Maybe Microsoft wanted to directly compete with Amazon. Azure has some tremendous momentum in the marketplace, and Microsoft is throwing all its weight behind it. Customers are moving to both of these platforms in droves, and Oracle is smart to go to all the places where the marketplace is going.

But, what about other public cloud vendors such as Google or Pivotal? How will they respond?

The only constant in the technology industry in the 21st century is rapid, unfettered change! This is an interesting development. Let’s see how the other vendors react and what time brings!

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